Recent Whims & Musings

Summer 2021 Review: Looking Ahead to Fall


August 2021 is only 7 hours away from being in the books when I’m writing the first line of this post and I think a lot of you will be with me when I say: “How the hell did THAT happen so fast?”

Well regardless, here we are, with another month almost in the books and my hastily, over zealous blog post on this site that was started when a good chunk of summer was already gone spouting its big mouth to the world about my summer goals to get done before the time raced by.

If you didn’t read that, you can find my summer 2021 plans blog post there, but we’re about to go over all of them plus the inevitable ways things went off the rail…but also the unexpected projects that went well.

Because celebrating the victories does matter. Plus beyond the seasonal breakdown, I also get to look at this staring me at the face every day since early December of last year:

yearly goal letter
Look I get the birthday to birthday thing but if you’re a few weeks late then you re-adjust the date to be one year out from then.

So yeah, it makes sense that I have plenty of motivation to keep hammering things out by day, by week, or by season considering that the massive letter from my past self to my future-almost-current self is going to be opened soon and after I first wrote this – there were no copies. It was sealed, placed by my work space, and that’s it.

A constant reminder not to waste time.

A constant reminder of the hope, the feeling of shame if I’ve done nothing for a while, the understanding that just like that a year goes by – and a year without my dream life is one less year I’ll have to enjoy it when I achieve that…or the increasingly good years as I get closer and closer.

Speaking of not wanting to waste time, from the mail this week:

Shout out to The Daily Stoic – great videos on YouTube and love the Medallion which I’ve started carrying with me everywhere. You can find their store here (not an affiliate link).

So with another great reminder I can now carry with me, and with all that said, let’s get to the stated goals and how we’ve actually done.

Goals for This Site

Simple enough place, to start, right? In the middle of July I had five goals for the blog. At the end of the day I’m going to say I pulled off 4/5 although there’s still a bit of work to be done.

The original goals:

  • July post published
  • August post published
  • Skeleton design layout/planning
  • Flesh out 1-2 pages (not posts)
  • Pull over a post from an old website

This post counts as August, so you may ask: wait a minute, that’s not four strikethroughs. True, but I’ve done over half of both points remaining.

The layout and planning is done, but not completely implemented. The same with pages. In draft form there are two that are almost done, and after finding some time to add in the links and do one more go through it will be done. So if the day had a few more hours we’d be 5/5 on this one.

So call it 4/5 and feeling good about it.

Writing Goals (All Platforms)

There were multiple writing goals going across multiple platforms and I figured this might be the one that slips through the cracks, especially with my focus being much stronger on other areas. There were also multiple goals by section, which I’ll order based on importance.

Freelance Work

Freelance had three goals that are sort of intertwined in the same area which were more or less:

  • Do the freelance work given from high-paying clients
  • Advance blogging/niche sites
  • Look for part-time or full-time work
  • Break even and don’t worry about it beyond that (most important)

I do believe that’s a 4/4. Now I didn’t land the jobs that I applied for and/or were pitched at me, but I pursued them. That I can control. Showing up and interviewing well I can control. The rest I can’t. So this is still a perfect.

Premium Articles

I use this phrase as a catch-all for INA Marketplace, Constant-Content, on Medium.com. The goals were for 12 articles (6, 2, and 4 respectively) total in the 6 weeks from the original post. INA Marketplace and Constant-Content for setting up cash sales that pay well for time spent, and Medium.com to breaking into profitable writing on topics I enjoy, so these do matter to me.

So how’d I do? Well…

Yeah we went 0/6 on that one. I’d give an excuse, but it would be nothing but an excuse. This was the one I figured I was “just tossing on” and was probably one of the lesser important goals but it was important enough to list so getting blanked…ouch.

So I will need to do better.

Especially since I see the potential of Medium and they have changed their Terms for partnership, so I need to get up to 100 followers and a certain amount of regular traffic if I want to cash in on that potential. If you stumbled on me here and don’t mind giving the follow if you enjoyed it, hey, here’s the pitch 🙂 Shane’s Medium Articles

Blog Posts

Here’s the meat and potatoes of those mid-summer goals. So many sites getting built…and many of them starting to show some serious signs of life. These were also super-ambitious. Especially since I was an idiot and forget I was half way through summer when making blogging goals for an entire summer.

So the long, long list:

  • AHREFS keyword research
  • Question keyword research for all blogging projects (HALF-CREDIT)
  • 15 blog posts for Assorted Meeples
  • YouTube Channel outreach post (Counting as done b/c rearranged release time based on YT schedule)
  • Optimize all currently published posts (over 100)
  • Foundation & formatting issues for all niche sites (HALF-CREDIT)
  • Gather potential guest post opportunities for AM & Niche Sites
  • 5 blog posts for Niche Site #1 (1/5)
  • 4 blog posts for Niche Site #2 (HALF-CREDIT)
  • 3 blog posts for Niche Site #3 (1/3)
  • 3 blog posts for this website (Nope, fell short)
  • 2 blog posts for Niche Site #4
  • 5 blog posts for Niche Site #5 (new)
  • 1 blog post for Starter Niche Site #1
  • 1 blog post for Starter Niche Site #2
  • 1 blog post for Starter Niche Site #3

So why so many failures? Well the obvious: I just didn’t write that much in 6 weeks. In addition to that, I was badly sick for 10 days (possible C-word breakthrough, hard to say), I was overzealous in making goals, but most importantly, something interesting happened.

Why do you scattershot write?

  1. Because you don’t know what’s going to take off yet
  2. No one niche/topic fully captures your passion

Since that last post one site did, in fact, begin to really take off. Assorted Meeples saw a huge jump in growth, and that justification to spend more time writing about gaming got me fired up in a way no site had captured in me in 4-5 years.

Since the point of the earlier scattershot approach to me was to find a site that either took off or fired up my passion for blogging again, once that happened it made way more sense to dump my energy into turning Assorted Meeples into one of the best dnd blogs online, and basically put everything else on hold.

So that’s what I did.

Niche sites 1, 2, and 3 all have draft articles I could easily knock out in 2-3 hours – but that would take energy and attention away from my main writing focus right now. Even with that said, I might knock those out before going to bed at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. But this article gets done first, so those don’t count regardless of timeline 🙂

So a lot of failures and half-completes here, but I shattered that 15 article goal for Assorted Meeples. If you count the total number of articles I wrote there with the total number of articles that were my goal…I’m very close to nailing it.

Weight Loss & Health

Oof. Rough one. A lot from being sick, and man after three weeks down (two and change weak, still don’t feel right energy wise after 2 weeks of recovery).

To be blunt: I failed bad here. It’s a 1/7.

The appointment for eye glasses was made. Everything else has yet to be done.

This hasn’t been a disaster in that I haven’t gone on huge binges of junk food or packed on 15 pounds, but the consistency of walking and exercise and diet needs to come back up and I need to give myself a kick in the ass.

I did have a 20 mile 44,000 step day, so that was pretty amazing.

Money, Debt, & Investment Goals

This wasn’t a bad one for me. Wasn’t ideal or great, but there’s a lot here that is beyond my control, so you an only do what you can do. And sure enough the one goal made that I had the least control over was the one that I missed.

The goals in summary:

  • Maintain all bills without raiding credit/savings
  • Add to savings
  • Add to IRA weekly
  • Put unexpected income to cash on hand
  • More in active checking post bills sitting there

Well four out of five ain’t bad. And I’m very happy with my Roth IRA even before the dividends were reinvested from several stocks. A trickle of money into my savings funnels, some debt paid off, and a little extra cash for thrifting, flipping, and eBay selling.

It wasn’t anything special but it was enough to keep me afloat while I hammered out some serious online content which right now I’ll take in a heartbeat.

Skill Investments

Straight out said there’s not much here that’s going to move over the summer and probably even during the year. That held up as true so despite five things being listed, that came with no expected progress. I did put in a very small amount of time trying to upgrade up to some minimal amount of competence in video editing and my new hobby skill.

So we’ll just call this a Pass since I did slightly more than expected to slowly progress those areas, and no concrete goals were actually set out. Those will come out during Christmas.

Creative Writing

Yeah. I really regret falling behind here. Most of these where I missed, I’m okay with it. Not thrilled, not happy, but okay with it based on everything else. This is the exception.

Bombed this one, and not happy about it. But did get a few more ideas and some of the old brain cells shooting so that’s at least something.

Set out goals:

  • Outline City of Crypts
  • Outline Alvaria
  • 5 pages for Inked
  • 20 pages for City of Crypts
  • 20 pages for Alvaria
  • Brainstorming creative fiction ideas

Well on the plus side…I have my unedited list of creative writing goals to move to fall? This is the one that sucks/hurts the most – especially with how well I returned to creative writing habits back in

Habits

This has been a fight and a struggle. The good news is I haven’t just shuttled the desire to strongly reinforce habits and the good fight continues here. Several good habits I’ve been fighting to keep remain rock solid and others I want but have struggled with are actually coming in more consistently.

Unfortunately none of those were the ones that I listed – well one partially. There were five habits I wanted to keep hammering in over five weeks so how’d I do?

  • Reinforce habits in place
  • Figure out 3rd index card of work habit issues (productivity hack I use that’s been pretty successful)
  • AGG before eating
  • Subconscious Kaizen (HALF-CREDIT the more I think about this, the more I realize some good habits really are sneaking in every single time I stand up so screw it – let’s recognize the victories no matter how small)
  • Work towards making fiction daily as automatic

Miscellanea

This had all kinds of important odds and ends of things that needed to be done or that I really wanted done and actually I’m overall pretty happy with how this section cleared up. So let’s have a look at all those.

  • Logo, Favicon, & Design Change for Niche Site 1
  • Logo, Favicon, & Design Change for Niche Site 2
  • Logo, Favicon, & Design Change for Niche Site 3
  • Logo, Favicon, & Design Change for Niche Site 4
  • Big creative projects miscellaneous work to prep
  • Fill out DnD character sheets for AM articles (STARTED)
  • Unqualified Experts Season 2 Filming
  • Scripts for video game guide videos
  • Creating outreach guide AM
  • Create board game review template AM
  • Create video game review template AM
  • Fill out passport application
  • Brainstorm YT ideas, series, thoughts for AM in 2022

This was one of those I’d say where there was arguably “extra credit” such as an incredible series of illustrations for a great one-shot I planned and executed on Twitch for Assorted Meeples, illustrations for some niche sites, as well as all kinds of serious keyword research.

The keyword research also became another albatross as certain use of the tool and brainstorming exploded the topics to research…beyond what the tool had for just one month of credits. So here we are.

A lot of research, trained back up in some skills that could help me with a side hustle in the future so, that’s advancement that’s not on the list, but it was definitely relevant.

What’s My Overall Feelings?

All in all actually pretty good. Especially considering the weeks of illness that sort of cut the knees out from absolutely everything. I’m not super happy or ecstatic. The creative writing, the weight loss/health, the complete goose egg on the premium articles to be wrote – it’s hard to be thrilled with all of that. Especially since two out of three of those were two of the three most important groups of goals to me personally.

That being said, overall especially with everything going on, I’m good. Not completely satisfied, and fired up to do much better, but I’m good.

One major reason?

Previously writing 100 blog posts in a year was incredible. Especially the size I tend to hammer them out and with the quality I demand from myself. From December to July I’ve completed 134 full-sized blog posts, and 80+ short blog posts (500-600 words). And I’ve had a pretty good August writing for Assorted Meeples.

We made a YouTube Series during that time, still am down many lbs from last year, and did all that while recovering from dental reconstructive surgery, among other things.

It’s been an amazing year and not even at the 10 month mark.

So overall I’m focusing on the good, on how well things are set up for the next month, and we go from there!

So if I have to give it a number rating: 6.5 out of 10?

Looking Ahead to Autumn 2021

Well let’s start with the review of summer 2021.

Summer Goal Review Scorecard:

  • This Site 5/6
  • Freelance Writing Goals 4/4
  • Premium Writing Articles 0/6 (OUCH!!)
  • Blog Posts 7.5/16 (But hard to grade because the strategy changed mid-month)
  • Weight Loss/Health 1/7
  • Money, Debt, and Investment 4/5
  • Skills – Pass
  • Creative Writing 1/6
  • Habits 1.5/5
  • Miscellanea 8.5/13
  • Overall Mood – Good, but…..

That’s it for now. Getting the fall goals out will be in a few days as I always want to review where I’m at, what I’m paying attention to, and reloading for what’s next.

Part of the reason doing this seasonally matters is that things change. The goals for blogging are DEFINITELY not going to be scatter shot this time around. Not when Assorted Meeples is doing so well and has so much potential starting to show.

That means the other niche sites get a lot less love for now but then so be it.

And if having this much to work on was part of what kept me from the big goals of health, weight loss, creative writing, then maybe, just maybe, it’s time to reassess and refocus.

So deep thinking, looking at where I am and where I want to go, and in a few days I’ll put the autumn update here. Thanks for reading and I look forward to bringing you the next update of seasonal goals.

Summer 2021: What Are The Plans?


Well the first decent posts on here were born in early June when it was summer already, so having a full seasonal plan half way through July doesn’t necessarily make sense. But I’m not going to wait all the way until autumn to talk about my goals, because that’s how you lose two months of doing cool stuff and getting it done.

And enough of lost time. The 6-year depression and repercussions of that took too much of my life has claimed all it’s going to, I intend to make those years up and then some.

So what are the plans for the rest of summer in this very sloppy, clearly thrown together mess?

Good freaking question.

Well here’s what we have for the rest of July going into August (I can’t freaking believe we’re past the half way point). And hopefully the stair cases failing underneath my feet (two in the past month) is an unfortunate trend that is behind us.

Getting This Site Going

As much as I really love this site, and my idea for making this way more than the glorified online resume it used to be, it’s not going to be a priority before making money now, making money in the future, building my new blog portfolio, getting back to creative writing, getting healthy, etc.

In other words, it’s a very important thing to me. But when there are 10-12 going on at once…yeah. Only time will thin out the herd a bit.

So since this is one of those “Very important things that can’t be a priority,” we are going to try to stay relatively realistic on what I want done here by the end of summer.

So here are my thoughts:

  • Get this post published before the end of July
  • Get a new post published in August
  • Get a skeleton design laid out on the site for a basic menu/framework, etc.
  • Flesh out 1-2 important pages for the basic format
  • Pull one post from the old defunct MD blog I want here now

So basically 3 posts, 1 page, and a small moderate amount of formatting by the end of August. We’ll see how that goes.

Rev up those engines – this is going to be a long one.

Writing Goals (All Platforms)

Yeah, as writers who have had to write many different styles or types know, these are very different types of writing and that’s even before getting into the creative writing. But hey grouping and organizing and yada, yada, yada.

You still have to track goals whether they are going well or going poorly. It’s the only way to move forward, get a realistic look at where you’re at, and continue moving forward with whatever your goals are. It can be tricky, because I know from personal experience how easily a missed goal can turn into feeling down, getting depressed, and bowing out completely.

But I’m also at the point in life where having no goals means just not much is going to get done.

Premium Articles

Even “premium articles” is weird by my definition. It is sort of a catch all for online marketplaces like Constant Content or the INA Marketplace. Places where I set the prices of articles that then eventually sell in a marketplace for a pretty good per word rate in most cases.

To me premium articles also include adding to my Medium.com portfolio to slowly build up hopefully some semblance of passive income. Would love to write there for month to month pay versus freelance, but right now it fits into the premium category because time is so, so scarce and these are articles that take time to write because the quality really matters.

So to be honest as much as I’d love to put big numbers here, there’s too much going on to put ambitious numbers in one of the areas that will get the least bit of attention here.

So simple summer goals for premium articles:

  • 6 Articles put up for sale on INA Marketplace (roughly 1/week)
  • 2 Articles on Constant-Content
  • 4 Medium.com Articles

If you found me here and haven’t already, please take the time to follow me on Medium if that’s a platform you enjoy reading on.

Freelance Work

Freelance work is a bit more out of my control now as I’ve gone to holding pattern with the clients I have and am no longer searching for new clients or new work. This does mean that money will be more scarce than it otherwise could be, but as discussed in another article despite the large per hour rate I’ve worked my way up to, 17 years of this is enough and I’m too burned out with professional freelance writing to continue.

It’s just not a viable path forward at this point. So a lot of the “goals” here are out of my control, especially since I just won’t do content mill stuff anymore.

Summer freelance goals

  • Do the high paying client work sent my way
  • Keep pursuing other jobs for part or full-time work until I make it blogging full-time (again)
  • Make enough to at least break even and otherwise don’t worry about it
The days of writing for others for a pittance, or any pay for that matter, is coming to an end.

Blog Posts

This is where I’m most excited, and there’s actually been a lot of movement on this front. For the most part the slow beginnings of a long journey, but still when you have 3 very new sites go from 0 a month to actually having longtail rankings and triple digit a month traffic, it’s still exciting.

They’re tiny tadpoles in the pond that is the internet, but at least the process has started and Google likes what it sees enough that I know my efforts aren’t disappearing into a void.

One of the most challenging aspects to the sheer numbers game right now is that there are several really important related tasks that need to be done to make sure the numbers game for writing is as effective as possible.

Items such as:

  • Research keywords/ideas for a new niche site idea. I know, with 6 already that doesn’t make sense 99% of the time, but 5/6 were made from reflex or immediately post burnout and to take advantage of energy and renewed health – not because of excitement on topic. Found a great potential domain name that’s available on a topic that has tons of seemingly easy keywords and that would be a fun build. Fun = more energy to keep going.
  • Longtail keyword research for my niche sites. Get that long list for each site.
  • Delve into question keyword research for all my niche sites. The more topics, the better!
  • Optimizing currently written posts. Not full rewrites but look at the openings (I tend to “write my way into” a blog post), improve pictures, formatting, apply the little things I’ve learned over the past year to make all these indexed posts much more competitive.
  • Gather potential guest post options & contact info for every niche site. These are a pain to compile, and even a bigger pain to comb through and get positive responses from, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Especially for getting started.
  • Fixing up lagging page, disclaimer, and other formatting issues for my niche sites. There’s just a whole list of things I didn’t want to take the wind out of my sails while writing but now that I’ve slowed a bit it’s time to re-visit those foundational things to get them out of the way once and for all.

Then beyond that there’s the fact that I have nine websites being worked on to various degrees including this one, with a new one about to join the stable for the full 10.

So that’s a lot on the plate 🙂

Despite all those things, I want this to be the place where I hit a home run out of the park. The more that gets done now, the sooner I make a serious living off my niche websites and blogs or get the sale I need to take an entire year off. Or even more if things go really well with building and selling a site.

So let’s make the goals here high.

Summer blogging goals:

  • Buy Ahrefs for one month and do ALL the keyword research I have lined up to do, longtail and otherwise
  • Follow up strategy to get full array of question keywords for all my blogging projects
  • Optimize all currently published posts with a once-over (roughly 100 posts total)
  • Foundation & formatting issues for all niche sites (pages, disclaimers, design, etc)
  • Gather lists of potential guest post/SEO work specifically for Assorted Meeples & Niche Site 1
  • 15 blog posts for Assorted Meeples
  • YouTube channel outreach post (“Listicle”)
  • 5 blog posts for Niche Site #1
  • 4 blog posts for Niche Site #2
  • 3 blog posts for Niche Site #3
  • 3 blog posts for this website (not including this post)
  • 2 blog posts for Niche Site #4
  • 1 blog post for Starter Niche Site #1
  • 1 blog post for Starter Niche Site #2
  • 1 blog post for new starter niche site, aka now Starter Niche Site #3
  • 3 blog posts for new Niche Site I’m excited about, aka now Niche Site #5

Weight Loss & Health

Not going to lie, I’m frustrated on this one. I’ve been eating very good, working out like crazy, and walking over 15,000 steps a day. And after three weeks I gained 2 pounds. Despite already weighing above 350. So that was infuriating because HOW???

But I still focus on how far I’ve come. 100 lbs down from my heaviest. Over 55 lbs from the last 10 months. Not eating perfect, but eating much better. Not exercising every day, but doing so a lot. And walking a ton. I look way, way better than before and notice a lot of little changes.

And the number of friends saying “Dude – you look good” has definitely let me know I’m on the right path and it’s noticeable.

Just not sure why I plateaued now. And that really sucks. Especially when you see YouTube full of videos of people 100 lbs lighter doing less and dropping a lot of weight.

But I’m going to keep on. Enough good clean eating and exercise long enough and something will have to give. So I’ll keep at it.

Also I need to get new glasses. The follow up dental work isn’t until September so that goes with fall goals, and I need to find a good physician for a physical. Not sure if I’ll be able to get new prescription glasses or not in August, but I’ll see what’s open.

Moving to the next step of looking at a gym membership or seeing if using the old college fitness center as an alumni is an option feels like it’s going to be an autumn thing, as well.

Summer Weight Loss & Health Goals

  • Keep eating more and more clean, only one cheat day per week
  • Keep reducing caffeine intake
  • Average 12,000+ steps a day the rest of summer
  • Hit 4 more 20,000+ step days
  • Hit that 100 flights of stairs day
  • At least 2 solid weeks on Slow Carb Diet
  • Set up appointment for new glasses (screw it – this needs to get done)

Why no weight loss goals? Because if the last few weeks have proven anything, it’s that weight is past my control but choosing the best food and exercise are things I can absolutely control and so I will.

Money, Debt, Investment Goals

This is going to be a hard section for me to write for a while because after a huge charge into all of these after the site sale of Amazing Outdoor Adventures last year, and a couple of insane good years in the IRA, I’m mostly in a holding pattern for the next 6-12 months.

I know this, I know it’s part of the process, but at the same time it doesn’t make it any less disheartening when those rapidly moving numbers on both sides of the Excel sheet (debts being paid off vs. investments & money being saved) slow to a crawl.

I know some people would yell at the “breaking even to build the blogs” strategy but it actually makes sense. There are two things that can NEVER be substituted when building your own business or a profitable website:

  • Time
  • Sweat equity (work)

Even if you can outsource most of the content for the sweat equity, you still need to edit, revise, interlink, do SEO, format, get quality images, and do all the other things that require a lot of time and work. And I don’t have a large bank account and giant budget.

Which means if I want the long-term plan to succeed, the one that is my clearest route to a serious six or seven figure income, early retirement, and enough money to provide for me and my family for the rest of my life, that work needs to be done and that clock needs to start ticking.

So yeah, I’d rather put in that work now than pay my debt off at $8 an hour. If even some of these sites take off the way I expect to by next year then, this section will end up resolving itself within 2 years instead of the 7 year, 11 year, 20 year, or 35 year timeframes depending on which plan/financial calculator you use.

And yeah…some of those financial calculators are way off.

So my minimum goals here are simple: make every payment, and put no other payment on delay or deferment. My largest student loan is on income based forbearance and needs to remain there. For a full year of interest that will add to the total debt owed by a few thousand. Not great.

But I have my payments set up on the debts I’m paying so those do take off a decent portion of principle just from the minimum payment. Is it more than the interest gained from the grad student loans? Yes actually. Barely. But it is. However, the biggest thing is that as those smaller debts get paid, I can snowball it.

As for investments, I have to go by the rule of Richest Man in Babylon before Dave Ramsey’s course, no disrespect intended, but I need to pay myself first and that means 10% of every freelance payment to my IRA until it’s maxed out on the year.

Debt Pay-Off Progression Vs. Investment/Assets

So why invest when you could be paying off debt? Doesn’t it make way more sense to get completely out of debt first? Generally I’d say yes, that makes sense.

But there are two things that bug me. One could possibly be me not fully understanding the economics, and that would not be the first time. The other is understanding what can be done in reality versus ideal circumstances that don’t hold up to real life interfereance.

Reason 1: Those old graphs showing that the difference in even 5 or 10 years of investing over time costing hundreds of thousands of dollars even with the same amounts invested. Look, early attempts thwarted aside because of employers choosing terrible 401-k managers, I’m not young.

So when examples like this show a $700,000 difference from $100 a month from 30 years vs 40 years…I don’t want to put off investing another 10 years while paying off debt. Besides, $100 spent on debt now is the $100 plus whatever small interest rates apply – but what if $100 invested is $10,000 in my 60’s?

The math seemed squiffy from me when looked at from that perspective. Now maybe that comes with the caveat the person has to actually invest that “extra” money. Fair enough. But I am so there we go.

Reason 2: I know my psychology.

A large number representing debt going down isn’t enough. Even the four columns of debt owed completely zeroed out into the Excel sheet’s future isn’t enough. Seeing a large debt number still hammers me down to the point where it’s only a matter of time until I collapse under the stress.

Unless….

There are a series of columns at the end of my spreadsheet showing even miniscule but steady growth in vacation funds, emergency funds, savings, and a healthy growing IRA that add together for a very healthy “Total Assets” number.

Oh look at that, there is one at the end of the sheet!

I also do the math to figure out new total debt versus new total assets and have the “Total Net Worth Change” as the last column. That way whether through paying off debts or investing and saving, I can see that my net worth has changed five figures in the past year.

That is super encouraging.

My Excel spreadsheet knows that I also have to see something building to keep pushing. So having those positive numbers along with the dropping debt numbers is the best combination for me. I get to track everything, see the debt going down, see the assets and net worth going up, and during those really rough times see things that matter to me.

I get that $300 in a tattoo fund or $250 for a vacation that is likely years down the line might not be budget approved, but it stops any self-destruction cold in its tracks and keeps me moving forward the direction I need to be going.

So it’s set up in a way that actually gives me a chance to succeed.

Summer Debt, Investment, & Payment Goals

  • Maintain all bills up to date without raiding any credit or savings
  • Add to savings columns every single week
  • Add to IRA every single week
  • Take any unexpected income or sales from out of budget and put into cash on hand fund
  • Have more in my active checking account post bills and investments than I do now

Skill Investments

The skill investments continue. I feel pretty good about my skills in building sites, keyword research, SEO, you know the things that are directly related to work/business.

So what about skills to expand new areas or are for new skills and interests completely?

Not much change in outlook from the last update.

Skills I’m Working On

  • Video Editing – Did I mention how much of not a natural I am? Looking to take a day or two where I do nothing else to try to break through to at least base competence.
  • Game Design/Programming – Taking very earliest first steps but wasn’t overly happy with the sale price for RPG Maker during the summer sale. I know if I wait long enough I’ll find a much better deal – preferably at a point where I have more free time, as well.
  • Sketching/Drawing – Still not making much progress but still have the drawing pad and exercises to the side and this is another one that will take some time.
  • Hobby Skill – Still on the first step so need to get better at moving at least minimal progress on this one.
  • Dancing – Still staying with unfortunately not this year.

I’m sure there are plenty of things I’ve been doing that others would consider skill advancement, but this is the main group beyond the chaos of everything else going on so we’ll just work on from there.

Creative Writing

Ugh. So…yeah. If the really old me from ages 3-27 could see how much I was struggling to get any creative writing done he would be in utter disbelief. It’s been rough. Good year over all for creative writing, but not a great couple months.

It’s one of the few things that are important to me that I haven’t done really at all this summer. Had a great April and May then just sort of fell off the earth after the first week of June.

Definitely need to step things up to get back on track on this one, and I think it’s just at the point where I need to stop free writing or adding scenes and just move to getting the full outlines figured out and done so I can move all the sections around accordingly, fill it in, and get those first drafts ready.

Creative Writing goals for rest of summer.

  • Finish Full Outline for City of Crypts
  • Finish Full Outline for Alvaria
  • 20 pages of fiction for City of Crypts
  • 20 pages of fiction for Alvaria
  • 5 pages of fiction for Inked
  • Several pages of brainstorming, story ideas, other fictional dreaming practices like I used to do

Habits

Very slowly, step by step, the habits are forming. Making the bed is automatic. Journaling in the morning is way more of a habit than it ever has been. Remembering to journal at night is more of a habit. Instituting certain work triggers during the day has been slowly being ingrained into me.

And the production is showing. Compared to the last two months the word counts are way up. The ability to concentrate for short sprints is up. The ability to really hammer and move the needle is up. Number of blog posts is up moderately…but the average size of these superior posts is over double.

So yeah – some pretty good things happening on this front.

Summer Habit Goals

  • Continue on course – reinforce the habits being put in place
  • Figure out the “3rd index card” issue work habits
  • Always remember AGG before eating
  • Continue towards subconscious Kaizen every single time I stand up
  • Work towards making writing fiction daily as automatic as making the bed

Miscellanea

I do hate the term “miscellanea” because it seems like by nature that would make things on here less important but I really don’t believe that’s necessarily the case. Sometimes there are lists (very, very long lists) of important things that need to be done but just not important enough to take center stage.

Which is how those lists can eventually have 100+ items. I think most of us have hit that overwhelm at one point or another.

Long List of Important Miscellanea (there are others, but here’s the “Getting Started Summer Sale”)

  • Buy logo for Niche Site 1, finish design changes, and create Favicon
  • Buy logo for Niche Site 2, finish design changes, and create Favicon
  • Buy logo for Niche Site 3, finish design changes, and create Favicon
  • Buy logo for Niche Site 4, finish design changes, and create Favicon
  • Do the miscellaneous work for the upcoming creative projects whether viable this year or not
  • Fill out 5E D&D character sheets for appropriate AM blog posts
  • Finish out Unqualified Experts Season 2 Filming (not miscellaneous but hey, big enough to deserve credit somewhere – the shooting schedule has been hell but we’re putting together an incredible season)
  • Scripts for video game guide videos
  • Creating basic researching potential guest posts + outreach guide for Assorted Meeples
  • Creating basic board game review template for Assorted Meeples
  • Creating basic video game review template for Assorted Meeples
  • Brainstorm ideas for YT videos, series, ideas for 2022
  • Get passport application in

How Do I Feel?

All in all I actually feel really good, though to be honest I need to do a better job of focusing in on that. Because during individual days there are times I feel tired from working so much, stressed from feeling tired, stressed from not being as far along as I want to be despite the incredible work that’s been done.

Add in the depression and mental illness and it can be easy to get completely knocked off course. Not going to lie, I still have my bad days.

But overall I feel much better on average on the average days, I have plenty of good days, and even the bad days are rarely 100% bad or as bad as they used to be.

So all in all, other than the two days I felt really sick, I feel great. And it’s amazing to be able to say that honestly.

How Do I Feel About My Progress? (and my “Failures”)

I wish I had done even more. Truth is, I’m the personality type who is almost certainly always going to feel that way. But that being said, what I’ve done the past year has been extraordinary, and I’m really excited about where this is going to lead.

That said, there have been plenty of lazy days. There has been plenty of dropping the ball. There are hundreds of hours I could pick up without being ultra productive or anal or too obsessed. In other words, there’s still a lot of genuine improvement there for the taking.

And especially on the creative side, I need to improve.

So I don’t like my failures because there’s plenty more that could have been done, should have been done, can be done, and needs to be done. But I’m getting better, and the progress is undeniable.

Wrapping It Up for the Season

This one is a bit rushed just because of timing. But hey it’s the year of 10xing or 20xing the life and it’s definitely messy. But I definitely want this site to be a habit as it is one of the few places I don’t have to worry about keyword research, SEO, I can write about the things I want to write about.

There’s something about the personal blog, having my own space to put it out there without having to be perfect or researched or optimized that is so nice. It also is yet another tool that allows me to look at my goals, look at my work, and keep hammering away.

Thanks for spending the time to read this and hope all of you are doing well!

Related Posts:

50 Writing Prompts to Get the Creative Juices Flowing


I’m a firm believer that great writers aren’t born, they’re crafted from tends of thousands of hours of writing, crafting, and repeating those steps obsessively while no one is watching. There are some people who might be more naturally inclined to come up with really random ideas, or to keep details in order in a way that makes them more naturally inclined to be better writers in one genre or another.

But becoming a good writer takes such an obsessive amount of work that it’s no wonder we all have a reputation for being more than a little weird. Especially all those creative writers 🙂

Even the best of us sometimes run into writer’s block. Not sure where the next story is coming from? Need some inspiration for whatever project is next? Or maybe you just want to keep the writing muscles sharp with a new exercise.

Sometimes a good writing prompt is exactly what the writing doctor ordered!

writer writing in notebook
Those writing prompts really got the juices flowing!

50 Weird, Wild, and Crazy Writing Prompts

Some of these were given to me from former fellow graduate students (way back in the day), some came from random challenges, some are made up.

So why do any more dancing around? The rest of this post is pretty straight forward and direct. So let’s mark the middle of summer by jumping in with 50 writing prompts to get some weird stories going.

Maybe this will be just a sketch, maybe you’ll create a character you love or a scene that you use later, but if you’ve been blocked for a while or feel yourself in a creative writing rut, time to pick one and get going.

Great writers aren’t born, they’re made from countless hours of tireless practice, so find one you like and get cracking!

#1: You ask her how her date went. “Not well,” she said. “Can I borrow your keys? I need to get the shovel out of the garage.”

#2: The whiskey tasted funny.

#3: And then she left.

#4: I lost my faith the same day I learned ghosts were real.

#5: Waking up in the drunk tank wasn’t necessarily a surprise, tequila’s a hell of a liquor, but I couldn’t believe my cellmate was ____________.

#6: A famous celebrity (Christopher Walken, Bill Murray, Taylor Swift, Tom Brady, whomever) becomes obsessed with you and starts stalking/harassing you relentlessly in petty but increasingly threatening ways…and no one else believes you. How do you deal with (your celebrity)’s increasing secret aggressiveness?

#7: He smiled, proud as a four year old after pulling off a sudden round of devastation in that half a second Mom turned her back, as he tried to pay me with three squirrels.

#8: Things were going so smoothly until Jenny showed up. Then they went sideways very quickly.

#9: My worst fear has come true. I __________

#10: You wake up after a normal night’s sleep to realize there is no electricity, no battery power, no radio or phone. No one knows what happened, it just all ceased to work overnight. What happens next?

#11: The apocalypse of your choice has begun but you realize you need to make one more quick run to the store for toilet paper.

#12: You realize you’ve had multiple personality disorder for years when 2 or more personalities all become aware of one another at the same time.

#13: You wake up to see a monkey staring at you from a few inches away.

#14: Pick a deeply held belief you’ve had since childhood. Now write a story where that belief is challenged or proven wrong.

#15: You answer a knock on your door. It’s the main three or four protagonists from your last few stories, and they seem to have a bone to pick with you.

#16: You wake up and while most things look normal, you start seeing allegories, metaphors, and common sayings as literal (“busy as a bee,” church goers as sheep, “he/she’s on a roll,” etc.)

#17: A strange dream takes place that would make a great idea for a fantasy adventure story, except for the ridiculous object of your quest. You wake up to find a gnome staring at you. He says you’re king/queen of the gnomes and you need to start questing. You…

#18: And then things went sideways…

#20: You attended a family reunion the previous night. In the morning you wake up to the police kicking in the door to your apartment. Someone burned down your place of work and they have your fingerprints on the gas can, and witnesses who said they saw you. Your family members don’t remember you at the reunion.

#21: A character wakes up, only to realize upon looking in the mirror that he/she is the opposite gender they went to bed as.

#22: After getting a physical just to use something off of your insurance, the doctor tells you that because of a rare genetic mutation you have only two years to live. You’ll be healthy during that time, but you only have two years left. How do you spend that time?

#23: Turns out that gypsy really was a sorcerer. She/he takes pity on you and allows you to choose which animal you will turn into for a month. Which do you choose? What problems happen as a result?

#24: A clown is staring at you. It seems to be everywhere you go.

#25: You’re being arrested for a crime you know your sibling had talked about committing. What do you do?

#26: A genie from an old whiskey bottle you find on the beach gives you three wishes, but there’s a catch: they can’t grant “big” wishes – only small ones that have a “butterfly effect” on everything else. How do you gamble with your wishes?

#27: You walk around going about your normal day, but suddenly everyone seems terrified of you.

#28: The baby starts crying loudly at 4 AM. You get up to go check on him/her and through the fog of being tired remember you don’t have a baby.

#29: It’s 3 A.M. and you really want to go home. Do you know where your car is?

#30: I still think he overreacted.

#31: You wake up and you’re 16 again. A slightly future you says you were forced back in time because you were tricked into thinking it was a prize. “You’re going to f**k this up bad,” he/she says before fading out.

#32: “Don’t you know who you are?” the old woman asked, forever changing my life in ways I couldn’t possibly have begun to imagine.

#33: Shaking the hand of the middle-aged job interviewer, you have a vision of him strangling a victim decades ago & somehow you know that was you in a past life. His hand tightens and his eyes tell you he knows somehow you know.

#34: I showed up to babysit my 2 year old nephew. He was laughing and playing with his toys. His parents were duck taped to the wall.

#35: In the distance you see a mushroom cloud.

#36: It’s not a dream. Your worst fear is happening, and it’s staring you right in the face.

#37: The clown appeared out of nowhere. Then he?/she? sees you  and starts sprinting straight for you.

#38: You meet someone interesting at a bar, but he/she is going back to Australia tomorrow. He/she says you should follow him/her. You do have your passport. What’s your move?

#39: You wake up half naked in the middle of Alaska. Again.

#40: Was that a baboon riding a tiger yelling “Woo!” over and over?

#41: You’re pulling a body out of your vehicle and into a quarry when you bump into your ex, doing the same thing.

#42: After the flaming pineapple incident, I was no longer allowed into any company function.

#43: You are approached by a bear walking in a bi-pedal fashion. It’s also wearing glasses.

#44: You turn on the TV and see your face appear on that night’s episode of “America’s Most Wanted.”

#45: The weird small town was burning you for being a witch. However, you’re standing there in the bonfire and not burning as the mob watches. It’s kind of awkward.

#46: “No worries,” he said after covering for your cup of morning coffee. “Besides, how often do you get to say a serial killer bought you a cup of coffee?”

#47: I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that somehow the hunter was becoming the hunted.

#48: For one day a year you have the power to make real life like a musical. What type of numbers will pop up this year? How will you abuse said daily powers?

#49: So…are you going to confess now or are we going to have to do this the hard way?

#50: “Your blender’s planning to kill you,” my toaster lied.

Bonus Prompt Challenge

When you look at a prompt think about what genre or type of story your mind jumps to, and then force yourself to write in an opposite style.

  • Did you think horror? Write slapstick comedy.
  • Did you think dramatic drop out screaming fight? Make it a flirty romance.

If you’re looking to stretch try this a few times, put your own spin on it. The first few will suck, but you will end up with some great characters, a good story idea, or at the very least help stretch those writing muscles to think creatively in the future.

In Conclusion

Hey, no argument my mind tends to wander towards weird, wild, and dark, but there are many directions these prompts can go. Sometimes I just need a little kick to get going and writing some more, and sometimes a simple practice like a quality prompt can get you going on a current project or even lead to a new and interesting project.

My 2021: 6 Month Review


Well seems like as good a place as any as I’m relearning to blog from a place of care, creativity, and passion as opposed to SEO, analytics, and strict keyword lists. So first of all it’s worth taking a look at what I’ve already been lucky enough to do this year, what goals are up there, and how things are going to this point.

It sits right there on top of the book shelf on my work desk. I see it every single time I turn my head.

The sealed letter to my future self one year in the future actually was very successful from what I remembered…which made it strange that I then ditched it. Despite years of struggling to do anything of worth or value. Struggling to make any progress at all.

So right now I have the sealed letter, lots of goals to take advantage of the windfall received from 2020’s sale of the website I poured five plus years of my life into building. Had the surgery that drastically improved my health so I could actually often function at least on a basic level on a day to day level.

I’ll focus on those. On what I want to do, what I’ve done, and what hasn’t been done yet.

And that’s how I’ll back in to getting back to traditionally blogging once again as I take a deep breath and celebrate the wins along the way!

So What Are Some of the Goals I’m Focused On?

There are plenty. And truth be told there are always those I think about at the beginning of the year that just don’t matter later. So adjustments will be made, but it’s still worth looking over.

Blog Writing (Self-Employed Financial)

Hey I know long-term my best investment is in myself. My brother and I sold our website last year and my cut has led to the badly needed dental surgery, to being able to step away from severe burnout, and for actual focus on health and healing for the first time in many years.

And I really enjoy building up websites. Creating that monthly passive income before selling for a big pay off. Or maybe creating a bunch of sites to create a true passive income that gets me freedom. Or both.

Freedom, retirement, and a big pay-off all by my mid-40’s sounds pretty amazing. That’s not going to happen from any other way than some serious blogging…and no spending 5 years to get there this time around.

The goals are vague on this. Solidly I want over 100 solid blog posts. This would represent the most productive year my brother and I had COMBINED.

So if I could beat that in one year, I’d feel pretty good. If I could do that above and beyond my gaming group blog, even better! While I have “You can’t not be rich/you can’t not be full time if you do this much work” setups, the 600 blog post in 15 months is straight up impossible. But it’s still a great goal to reach for.

So how have I done?

December through May: 110 blog posts (and 41 small blog posts)j

Not bad. Now in fairness, the article sizes from the first blog tended to be twice as long about 70% of the time as I was trying out multiple new strategies. Even “adjusted” it’s north of 65 full sized blog posts. So on target and rocking. I don’t like the fact that’s spread over 7 websites instead of on 1-2 (and those numbers include the gaming blog), but it’s something.

TOTAL Blog Posts:

  • Assorted Meeples (gaming blog): 57 published posts
  • Niche Site 1: 45 published posts
  • Niche Site 2: 37 published posts
  • Niche Site 3: 19 published posts
  • Niche Site 4: 5 published posts
  • Starter Niche Site 1: 1 published post
  • Starter Niche Site 2: 1 published post
  • This Site: 1 published post (counting this one)

As much as there are criticisms I can level, at the end of the day I have some great seeds planted for the future. And my productivity in 6 months, despite a tired May where I took most the month off writing, was more blogging than I’ve ever done in an entire year.

Take a breath and be proud, Shane. At least on this point, you’ve earned it.

Weight Loss & Fitness

Quarantine has been rough. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve maintained most of my weight loss and even managed to shed a few more pounds. This journey started way before this year, and so it kind of blends together. So this is the “just getting up to date” numbers.

  • Heaviest: 469.9 lbs
  • Weight when starting latest push: 415.5 lbs
  • Current Weight: 368.8 lbs after vacation and two bad weeks.

So I’ve come a long, long way. And I have a long, long way to go.

But I’m fully vaccinated, I’m healthier than I’ve been in years, and I’m ready to go and push to that goal weight. 280 for the short term push. 220-230 for long-term.

Maybe I can get to a lower healthy weight, but I’m a big frame with a lot of muscle so I know I can look pretty amazing and be pretty in shape at that weight. So we’ll see what’s healthy for me at this age once we get there.

The walking will continue and the step numbers will explode. I free lift dumbbells, and new glasses and finishing off the dental surgeries are on the to-do list. Healthier happier life, here we come!

Learn New Skills

There are all kinds of skills I’ve wanted to learn for years, and all kinds that have come up recently. Some are business, some creative, some just fall under the “it would be cool” label. So it’s hard to figure out what qualifies as “good” here.

So skills I’m working on:

  • Video Editing – It’s a slow process and I’m definitely not a natural, but I’m getting there. This will be big on improving YouTube presence and also helping me get creative in another field.
  • Game Design/Programming – Taking the first steps to get there.
  • Dancing – Not going to happen this year.
  • Sketching/Drawing – Working on it. Going very poorly, but working on it, lol.
  • Hobby Skill – First steps taken.

Freelance Writing – Direct Income

Did a lot of great work in early 2020. Yeah, that is my luck, self-employed finally get unemployment (and bonus because 2020) and four weeks in I get work. Such is life. This is an interesting one because I did a lot of editing work January through April that I didn’t know was going to be there at first, and then ended a month earlier than expected.

But my thought that the job could get me exposure was right, and I received some interest to hire me for freelancing. While I don’t discuss numbers, they’re good rates that I’m working for.

$25 an hour would be a serious pay cut right now.

When I’m focused on my work my hourly rate would get me six figures in a year if I loaded myself up at the same rate.

But I’ve also learned something else….

I no longer like freelance writing.

In fact, I hate it.

While it’s tempting to load up hours and keep working, there’s a serious emotional, spiritual, and psychic penalty for doing something you once loved that now you hate – and I won’t pay that price.

I guess in one way that is serious growth on my part 🙂

This also means after years of working to get to very high end rates like this and finally achieving it, I’m walking away. Basically I no longer do content mill work, I no longer do mid-level work, and I don’t seek out any more high end clients.

I’m working with the few high paying clients I have for a limited amount of part-time work. It will pay the bills and allow me to spend most of my time on my health, my weight loss, training up new skills, and working on my blogging. And right now that’s more important to me.

Then at the end of the year I’m going to stop. Sink or swim. It’s time for something new.

So direct income goals for this year have changed radically based on priorities, but I’m actually happy to mark this one “Good enough for now.”

Creative Projects

There are some really cool ones in the works. Some require skills that I simply can’t work on this year. Only so much time in a day.

But some others are already beginning to come together and I am very excited about it. The fact that I’m even working on creative projects of any kind shows a major improvement over many recent years in the past.

Creative Writing

Hoping to finish the first draft of two novels. That is a touch ambitious though my backup goal would be 365 total pages of new fiction.

I’m behind as I haven’t hit the one page a day goal, but I have written nearly 100 pages total this year and am focused on putting out a page of fiction a day. Progress is being made.

While these are manuscripts that have been worked on for a long time, I have two novel manuscripts each over 100 pages in length and growing so some serious story development continues to unfold.

Habits/Improvement

I need to do better here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made serious progress. I journal way more than I used to even if it’s just a little bit in the morning and a little at night.

I make my bed every single morning from instinct. I focus in really well for 45 minutes to an hour of work the moment I’m mentally awake in the morning (for me that’s really good). I use a timer to do work sprints. I do a lot of calf lifts every time I stand up to pace or distract myself.

But I’m not doing everything I was doing the beginning of the year after reading James Clear’s life-changing book Atomic Habits, and that is such an amazing blueprint for how anyone can build in at least some positive habits and changes that just snowball over time.

More than any other section, success depends on putting these into consistent improvement and practice.

I’m much better than where I was at. And I’ve been very good at Kaizen. If I get up I always look for one thing to do. Is there a piece of trash to throw away? Dishes to take downstairs? Some empty cans to take to recycling? One small thing to do to clean up clutter.

Now I need to get better at reviewing those.

And someone help me on the meditating because after over two years of struggling to get any traction from meditation…I’m still struggling to get any traction there.

Well, can’t win them all.

Debt/Financial

Honestly, I don’t expect much movement here for the rest of the year, though last year and early this year just killed it. My debt dropped over $10k. I paid for cash for $17k in surgeries and health related expenses. I have an emergency fund. My IRA has been funded and killing it.

My Net Worth changed over $20K between the two, and while it was a good year, it wasn’t so good to explain away that number. There were some past blessings or opportunities in youth I squandered because I didn’t know what I had.

That wasn’t going to happen again.

This year if the IRA can keep growing, the emergency fund can slowly grow and I get make minimal advancements on the debts, we’ll call it a win (assuming I’m an absolute beast on the other projects – since that’s the whole point of staying part-time right now).

I would love to see more progress than that…but I know the long-term success here depends on thriving in the other areas and that means using the time while I have it.

Miscellanea

There are probably all kinds of odds and ends I’m missing here or could put them in – but hey those can be for the next one.

I’m buying more books, focusing big time on the gaming group, new skills, and moving my blogs forward, and already pivoting to other skills and research to get out of the freelancing business.

I’m handling a lot of small things that have a big impact on quality of life and that is definitely something I hope continues in every small way – because those small things really do add up.

So How Can I Accomplish Goals I Can’t Re-Visit?

Considering the “main goals” are in a sealed envelope, how can I possibly meet all of them when I don’t have a copy of the letter?

creative dream journaling

Good question, but there actually are some good answers to it. I did this in the past and after opening the letter at year’s end was surprised how often an “inspired” creative project or push of effort turned out to checkmark something in the sealed letter.

On top of that journaling like to the left here helps. The letter was a complete brain dump first so this page doesn’t fully list everything, nor is it meant to.

But it shows that there are other ways to look at habits, goals, and creative projects and keep moving forward.

Let’s be honest, if by my next birthday I’m 100 lbs lighter, have a novel done, a good bank account, and am closer to the life I want I’m not going to care if the details of how I got there are a wee bit different.

So yeah.

And those all important questions at the bottom of the journal page…also a very, very good guide.

I would also suggest using Excel sheets. They are powerful.

I use Excel to track my debt and assets. I use an Excel sheet to track my exercises. My weight loss and gain. I have Excel sheets with all my URLs for my gaming group site, my SEO targets, my own blogs, and other projects.

In other words, use Excel as the multi-purpose tool it was meant to be. They really are incredible.

So What’s Next?

I’m not going to guarantee that I can update things every month or even every quarter, though I like the idea of two more after this for the year: one around the early fall and one right before the big reveal. Those seem like appropriate times, right?

But I’m very happy with how far I’ve come so far. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished.

And I’m not satisfied. No resting on my laurels, no taking a break. It’s time to double down and take advantage of the little “free” time I have.

This time I see the window of opportunity.

And I refuse to let it close.

Welcome to Shane’s Site!


Welcome and thanks for visiting my site! There’s no big surprise with this first one, it’s that classic introduction post that pretty much was a staple of the old fart bloggers when we didn’t know eventually the mid 2000’s would be the “very old days.”

But anyway, welcome! Originally I was going to do the same thing with this domain as I had in the past: make it basically a glorified online resume where companies or potential freelance employers could check in on. While small segments of that remain (see the Hall of Fame page – trust me, these “oddities” have actually landed me more interviews than my resume, BA, MFA, or anything else that most recruiters look for)

But thank you for stopping by to see little ol’ me. I know these intro posts are pretty pointless but hey, after nearly 15 years of doing this, old habits die hard 🙂

So may this introductory post fade into oblivion…and may the fun bi-weekly (and hopefully someday weekly) posts commence!